Imágenes de páginas


on her part was amicabiy inclined pelled to folicit a peace with the towards Great Britain. But, if an- republic of France, to make a tender other proof were wanting, he ap- of reconciliation to the very men pealed to occurrence in the who had imbrued their hands in winter of 1792. General Dumou- the blood of that sovereign whole riez wrote to the executive council death we had been so defirous to for leave to seize upon Maestricht, avenge. Had one of our menaces witliout which he could not defend been carried into effect! We were the Nieufe or the territory about to march to Paris and seize upon Liege. This city he proposed to the persons of the convention ! we keep in lois poffeffion during the now were preparing to defend our war, and atterwards to return it own coasts against the invasion of to the Dutch; its owners. The the same enemy.

We had encou. executive council refused to com- raged the nation to prosecute the ply with his request, because an at: war upon an assurance that the tack upon the ally of England French were on the verge, nay in uo'ild give offence to Ergland, and the very gylph of bankruptcy become a certain ground for war.. but alas! what was the state of our

Mr. Hobhouse then sated all the own finances? How low had our opcriunities which ministers had own credit been funk by the disToti of making an honorable peace: continuance of the bank of EngWher M. le Brun wrote to lord land to make its accustomed payGrenville on the 16th of April to ments in speci: ? requeft a pafiport for M. Maret, wlio was to cone with full powers to

Mutato nomine, de te terminate the horrors of war, not

Fabula narratur. an miner was returned. He appealed lastly to the repreWhen the French army was in a Tentatives of the people ;-Did they fiate of disorganization at the defec. wish to extricate the country from tion of Dumourier, we miglit have a ruinous war, and ensure to themoffered terms which would have felves the blettings of a solid peace? been acceptable. After the cap- . let them address the king for a reture of Vauciennes we might have moval of his minifiers. Did they negotiated advantareoully; - in with to repair their fhattered fiNiort, with miniiters, no time was nances ? let them address the king proper for it -- they were bent up- for the removal of his ministers. on the profecution of this disastrous. Did they wish to restore the British war, in which they had expended confitutioni - he concluded with one hundred and thirty-five milli. the only method of doing it - adons, laid upon the people annual dress the king for the removal of taxes to the an ount of six millions;' his ministers. in which they had ned a profufio Mr. Dent thought that before the on of English blood, without hav. house could adopt the present moing attained one of the objects for" tion, it would be necefiary to know which they professed to contend. who those gentlemen were, to whoin Was it for Holland we had drawn it was willed that the administration the sword ? Holland was no longer of public affairs should be commitour ally, but that of our enemy. ted. He lamented that in the conrse Was it for the re-establishment of of the debate assertions had been con. monarchy? We had been com verted into accusations, particularly,



when miaisters were charged with Mr. Pierrepont averred that nei. occabioning the discontents of the ther political predilections nor party seamen and the disturbances of Ire- views in the least influenced his land.

vote ; he had much to lose — and the Mr. N. Jeffreys said he would motion under discussion was of a answer one question by another : tendency to introduce confusion, it bad been demanded, if the pre- and to hazard property. sent ministers were dismissed, where Mr. Burdon could not but think, should we find others? He replied, he said, that the dismissal of miniwhere could we poffibly find worse? sters was a measure which would

Mr. Ellison professed to speak retard rather than accelerate peace, as an independent member for a and, instead of allaving the present respectable city (Lincoln), He al- ferment in the public mind, kindle ways listened to the advice of and foment disturbances. Viewing bis conftituents with deference, it in this light, he had nothing to claiming, at the same time, the pri- add but his negative. vilege of a&ting from his own opi The question was loudly called nion. He could not think this was for. Ayes 59, noes 242, majority the proper season for agitating 183. questions for reform, and bringing Tuesday, the 30th of May, the charges against ministers: it would duke of Bedford rose to mike a bę like attempting to reform a fa- motion for taking into conside-, mily when their house was beset ration the itate of the nation. with thieves and robbers, Unani- The substance of his excellent mity at home, and valour abroad, speech was as follows. Our calawas the best mode of obtaining mities, he said, were great, and the peace for the country.

extent of them unexampled: in Mr. C. Sturt execrated the con stating their causes he must necefduct of minifters in the trongest sarily advert to the conduct of miterms for their having plunged the nisters; it was not his inclination country into the miseries of war but his duty he must confuit in gotheir having cheated the nation of ing over this painful part of the their money by pretended overtures subject. But he did not mean to of peace their abominable expe- draw inferences, only to lay before dition at Quiberon — enlisting pri- them facts. It had been said, this foners who were notoriously at was a war for the preservation of tached to republicanism, to re-esta- law, religion, and moraity--a war blish monarchy in France - their in defence of our liverty, our consacrificing millions of money at stitution, and our property. What St. Domingo, and the flower of the was the state of our property now? British army - their opposing the had our law's been ameliorated? On just claims of our gallani protectors, the contrary, had not the best of the failors. [Here he was called to them been fufpended, and others order.) But Mr. Sturt declared, no made against that very liberty cries of order, whilft he was not which we were said to fight in de. disorderly, should deter him from fence of? But it was for the predelivering his sentiments; and all fervation of religion. Alas! did the success, nay, the very existence we expect to protect the altar by of the country, depended on the furrounding it with blood, or to ft. support of the present motion, cure it from violation by piling it,

[ocr errors]

with carcases of the dead? Had we between the chancellor and the supported morality by this war? bank. From the beginning of the What examples could we produce ? year 1795, the bank-directors were the king of Prussia ? the dungeons frequent and earnest in their reof Olmutz? or could it be disco. mcnftrances to him; they remind. vered in the conduct of those petty ed him of the advances which they tyrants who buzzed about us when had made to govern nent, and his they had hoped for success, and promises of payment :--they fiated disappeared when our case became the amount of ihei Jvances on the desperate ?

treasury bills to b: between two His grace then went over the and a half and bree millions. negotiations, much condemning mi. These representar ons were uninisters in making Belgium a fire formly answered with promises that qua non, when the bank was me. the subject of co nplaint should be naced, and the public credit in im. remedied, and the a Ivançes repaid : minent danger. He next called the but they never were performed, attention of the house to the state and new applications for fresh ad. of our finances; the annual amount vances w ere made. O, the 6th of of the new taxes was seven millions August the chancellor applied for aud a half, but he believed that a an advance of two mil ious and a very considerable additional sum half on tle consolidated fund, prewould be requisite to cover the tended the utmost concern for the whole expence which had been in- bank, and expresseu his surprise that curred. 'Should the war continue the directors could once imagine three months longer, or for the that its interest was a lefs object whole of the year, three millions with him than with them. The more must be raised to defray the event proved his fincerity. The interest of the debt which it had directors again acceded to his de. created. No one year had the peo. mand, on the express condition, ple yet borne the burden of more however, that 1,000,000!. fhould than three millions, so that the be paid on aceount of their advance dreadful weight of seven and a half on the treasury bills in the month annual tax never yet experienced, of October, a proportion in April, must be added to the pressure under and that the amount of them should which they already groaned! It never exceed 500,000l. — a regulawas a principle of the British con- tion to be adopted in November, ftitution that the country mould be All these conditions were nego apprised as early as poslible of the letted, the remonftrances despised, burdens which they were to fup. and the amount continued to ad. port; and it had been the boast of vance. They continued to warn the present minister that he had him of the fatal consequences of the observed it - surely without foun, drain of cath to the emperor, and dation. Our difficulties, our dan. the ruin which must ensue from gers, and our expences, had been such a system, But he was indif. concealed till they could not be bid ferent to warnings and solicitations, any longer, and our state was de procured advances upon renewed plorable. There were several points promises which he continued to on which

grace said he was break, and on conditions which he obliged to curtail his observations, never performed; and, if the whole especially upon the correspondence correspondence between the chan


[ocr errors]

cellor and the bank, to the very lude to the difturbances of the navy, moment when he was compelled to in order to perform his duty to his ftop payment, did not excite the country, Silence would add to the indignation of the house, his grace mischief. When the mutiny first said he despaired of adding any broke out, the sailors made de. thing to its influence. The bank mands, many of which were reaof England was reduced to the situ. Sunable in every body's opinion; ation of stopping, payment, and some of them were not so.' It was public credit exposed to utter ruin, certain that the admiralty inade of to supply an expenditure which fers to certain requests which were parliainent bad not sanctioned, to rejected, and afterwards raised their support the mischievous schemes offers, and the agreement was made. and wasteful prodigality of mini- What had been granted, was only sters. Had the real object of the thought to be just; and ministers, war been fairly avowed, or the ex. in offering less than they afterwards pence ftated, peace would long be- granted, proved that they could not fore now have been concluded. judge, or did not act with uprightThe laws which had passed on pre- ness: these were examples of inca. tence of preserving tranquillity was pacity which they had manifested. another proof of the pernicious He had already stated the evils fyftem on which minifters had which their measures had proaaed. But for the most striking duced ; and he now asked, if the illustration of their wretched policy English were determined to devote we needed but to look at Ireland. their country to destruction? (Here Earl Fitzwilliam had been sent out there was a great cry of “ Hear! as lord lieutenant, as was under hear!"). His grace proceeded : " I food, upon the wise and salutary come with as great an interest as plan of making those concessions any man in the house in the safety which would satisfy the expecta- of the country. Will you leave its tions of the people: he was deceived affairs to men who have already inby minifters, and sacrificed to their volved you in complicated calami. injudicious measures. He went tiesi entreat your lord thips to out to carry into execution a sy, reflect upon our state as a nation ; ftem dear to the wishes of Irithmen. that you would devise some means Lord Camden went out to direct a of avoiding the complete ruin with plan far different, and avowedly which we are threatened : and I hostile to that on which the people therefore move that an humble ad. of Ireland had fixed their hearts. dress be presented to his majesty, What had been the consequence? earnestly soliciting him, by dir. Every attempt to coerce had spread milling his present servants, to give more widely the spirit of discon- to the people of Ireland the strongtent; blind perseverance in coer- eft proof of his disapprobation of cion had heightened discontent in- that system of treachery by which to disaffection, and endangered the their discontents have been fosterconnection of the two countries. ed, and of his majesty's intention of At home allo, we had much to re- securing the connection between gret under the conduct of mini- the kingdoms, by extending to men iters. The first appearances of dan- of all defcriptions in that oppressed gerous events he did not mean to country the blessings of the constiwiribute to them; but he must al- tution under which they were born;


and, finally, to dismiss those mi- tial aid. The bank of England, nifters from his presence, for ever, owing to the most fatal neglect of whose measures had impaired the the lords of the treasury concernli erties, and whose extravagance ing the circulating specie of the hd is jured the property of his kingdom, when ‘many schemes subjects: to restore the spirit of might have been proposed, probably the British constitution, and to to prevent, certainly to lefen, the adopt such a system of retrench- evils which had happened - the ment as was alone consistent with bank had received a wound which the prosperity of his exhausted peo- could not be remedied ; our credit, ple."

a blot that could not be expunged; Earl Strange (duke of Athol) a. his grace said he meant the effect greed, that the present crisis calle of the order of the council. His ed for exertion; but the measure next subject of regret was St. Domoved by the noble duke was not mingo; which without many concalculated to meet the exigency of fiets, without a battle fought, bethe times, Into the conduct of fides the millions lavished there, the chancellor respecting the bank proved to be a grave for the greater he did not mean to inquire-but he part of the troops fent thither; the was convinced that a satisfactory ex- numbers of officers and men who planation could be given of every had fallen vi&tims to the climate, part of it. In reply to the question, exceeded what would be credited, “ What had we gained by the con- and their relatives had to thank the test ?" we had gained, he said, the wild project of an incompetent miprivilege of fitting and debating in nister, who might callously assert, that house; and if we had not en " fuch was the chance of war !" He tered into the war with France, did not dare acquaint their lordneither he nor the noble duke ships to what a small remnant the would have been peers of the realm. regular infantry of England was reOf the fedition and treason acts, duced. He knew what it was, and though he acknowledged them to mentioned it as a warning to the be infringements to a certain de- lord in office that he, with his colgree upon the constitution, he ap- leagues, might not be weakening proved, as measures di&tated by ur this defence still farther, by emgent neceffity. He oppofed the ploying them on more fatal proaddress, as tending to detract from jects when it ought to be the printhe energy of government, to un ciple of all measures to give securihinge the administration-and even ty at home. The navy afforded to unhinge the country.

a fresli proof of the want of sagaciThe duke of Grafton rose; and, ty in adminiftration. Who but after taking a review of our wealth, themselves, did not see the necessiour manufactures, our military ty of aslifting the seamen, when, at force, our naval power, and the pro- the moment of the high price of prosperity of Evgland till the year 1792, visions, considerable indulgencies he reviewed with much apparent had been granted to the soldiers ? As concern the picture of our present to Ireland, that kingdom was 10 be ftate. Great Britain (said his grace) confidered in so critical a fiate, that, is at this moment stript of, or de. less there was a temperate reform in ferted by, every ally on the contin parliament, and a full emancipation nent which could bring any eflen- ot the catholics, with a total change of


« AnteriorContinuar »